Kantian Consequentialism

Kantian Consequentialism

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This book attempts to derive a strong consequentialist moral theory from Kantian foundations. It thus challenges the prevailing view that Kant's moral theory is hostile to consequentialism, and brings together the two main opposing tendencies in modern moral theory.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 206 pages
  • 161 x 237.7 x 19.1mm | 517.1g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0195094530
  • 9780195094534
  • 1,324,826

Review quote

One of the strengths of Cummiskey's book is the novel and interesting idea of a consequentialist normative principle justified by non-consequentialist, Kantian arguments./ Philip Stratton-Lake, University of Reading, The Philosophical Quarterly, 1999.show more

Back cover copy

The central issue in normative ethics hinges on the conflict between a consequentialist view - that morality requires promoting the good of all - and a Kantian view - that we should respect the rights of the individual. Kantians and non-Kantians alike have presumed that Kant's ethics is incompatible with all forms of consequentialism, and instead justifies a duty-based and agent-centered moral theory. From this perspective, certain actions, like sacrificing the innocent, are categorically forbidden. In this provocative and controversial book, philosopher David Cummiskey argues that the two approaches are indeed compatible and that Kant's own arguments entail a consequentialist conclusion. But this new form of consequentialism, which follows from Kant's theory, has a distinctly Kantian tone. Through scrupulous analysis of Kant's writings and exhaustive consideration of recent scholarship on Kant, Cummiskey demonstrates that the foundations of Kantian thought are the basis for an enriched understanding of moral principles and values. Cummiskey's reconstruction of Kant's argument reveals that the value of rational nature is indeed prior to the value of pleasure and all other goods. Nonetheless, contrary to prevailing opinion, Kant's ethics does not provide any justification for constraints on the maximization of the good. A major new interpretation of one of philosophy's most prominent figures, Kantian Consequentialism is essential reading for anyone interested in the central issues of moral philosophy.show more

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